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Human Rights in the Global Economy - JURD7384
 Law Books

Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  School of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 4
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: LAWS1001 and LAWS1011; Corequisite: LAWS2311.
Excluded: LAWS3184
Fee Band:   (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


This course introduces students to the policies and legal principles operating in the global economy and their relationship with human rights. It examines the basic principles of international human rights law, with particular emphasis on economic and social rights, and analyses the impact on those rights of the global economic institutions and multinational corporations. Controversial issues will be explored, including the lending policies of the Bretton Woods Institutions (the World Bank and the IMF), the human rights impacts of the law of the World Trade Organisation and liberalisation of foreign investment in the Global South. The course studies and evaluates current initiatives for the regulation (and self-regulation) of transnational corporations in relation to human rights. Cases raising relevant human rights issues before the WTO's Appellate Body and before selected national and international courts and tribunals are studied in detail.

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

Upon completing this course, it is expected that students will:
  • Have a sound knowledge of the main legal concepts and principles of international human rights law
  • Be familiar with the regulation of international commercial activity through international investment and trade law, municipal law and various international 'soft law’ mechanisms
  • Be able to identify major contemporary problems arising at the intersection of human rights law and international commercial law, policy and activity
  • Be aware of on-going and future issues in the area of human rights in the global economy
  • Have completed an independent research essay on a core topic of human rights in the global economy

Main Topics

  • International human rights
  • Economic and social rights
  • Measuring economic/social rights impacts
  • Development and human rights
  • The international economic organisations
  • International trade and human rights
  • International investment and human rights
  • Transnational corporations and human rights
  • Human rights and company law
  • Environmental protection in the global economy
  • Globalisation and the rule of law


Class participation - 20%
Research essay - 40%
Exam - 40%

Course Texts

Course Materials should be purchased from the UNSW Bookshop prior to the first class.

Additional materials will be distributed during classes. Please see Annexure 1 Course Reading Guide. Library assistance may be obtained from the Law Library staff on Level 1.

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.